Building Your Social Intranet – Step 3 Top-down vs. bottom-up roll-out

OK, we defined the goal(s) of our social intranet. Now we have to get commitment from high-level management, right? It depends. I don’t think this is the only way to go, although we have learned to do it this way: write a plan, get budget by getting commitment from management, get IT on board and start rolling out. This type of planning always lead to long projects.

I think internal social media concepts and tools challenge us to think differently. Mostly the tools are really cheap and everybody can set them up and configure them. A Yammer network for instance is up and running in 30 seconds. So, why don’t you go ahead and do this? Not because setting up the tool is the only thing that much be done for a successful roll out of social tools. I’ll get back to that in a bit. But you can do this because you can. The big question is: Are you dare-devil enough to do it? Or is this impossible in your organization? In many Dutch organizations this way of working is allowed and even encouraged. So take your chances! 

Of course, eventually you will need support from management. There will be a time in which you will need to invest in people and technology and you will need money for that. But if things are the ways they should be, you can prove the organization should move in your direction based on great cases coming from your bottom-up deployment. Right?

A trick to get high-level management on board is to show them your successes. And also by asking commitment for a policy document on internal social media use. My experience is management love this kind of document and it could be their first step towards actually understanding and using social platforms. 

How are you planning to deploy your social intranet? Bottom-up or top-down? And if you already have rolled out one, what are your experiences with these two ways social intranet adoption?

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